Gail Allem
Judi Slover
ENC 1102
February 22, 1996

The Lost Trees

The double shame in man's war against man is the residual effect on nature; an innocent ,
helpless bystander. The sense of potential devastation is the prevailing tone throughout the poem,
"Gathered by the River," by Denise Levertov.
The spoliation caused by nuclear war is not limited to the loss of human lives. Nature can take a
comparable amount of time to recover from a nuclear holocaust. The impact of war victims to humankind
is negligible as compared to years of recovery required to reinstate the slow-growing trees. When
Levertov notes, "the trees are not indifferent" (l 13), she is saying that nature has a huge stake in the
outcome of man's tendency towards self-destruction.
"[I]f our resolves and prayers are weak and fail / there will be nothing left of their slow and
innocent wisdom" (ll 49-50), demonstrates the trees' awareness of how lengthy their recovery time can
take. They listen incredulously to mans' promises that he will not make this deadly mistake again, but
worry he is too weak to honor their promises.
Levertov is implying there should be harmony between man and nature and the nature of how
mankind conducts itself can have long-range effects on the course of nature. For example, we now know
how the destruction of the rain forest in South America is affecting the percentage of oxygen available
around the globe. Man's wholesale destruction of these areas for financial gain, despite the negative
results, is a study of the nature of man's inhumanity to man. Do we not all breathe, even those who fell
the trees?
Man is not completely in control, however. Nature's ability to wreak havoc on the environment
of all living things in the form of earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters should be a wake-up call
to humankind. Is this nature's way of reminding us where the true control lies?
I think the answer lies in education. I think an International Environmental Awareness Bureau
should be established to provide education on a worldwide basis. Subjects could include global warming,
air and water pollution, overpopulation, and other environmentally sensitive issues. If the education can
start at an early age, a generation of nature conscience members of the earth could evolve.
In addition, a Global Environmental Council could be established to monitor and control
environmentally unfriendly industries. This council could establish policies and procedures to prevent the
detrimental side effects related to modern industry. These bureaus and councils would have the ultimate
authority over all industry with agreements that their rulings were for the good of the planet.
The final question regarding man at war is more difficult to answer. How can all men be
educated to act against his primeval instincts to pursue and conquer? Would we be too optimistic to
believe man can be trained to understand and curb these prehistoric tendencies towards violence?
Perhaps the answer lies in womankind.






Throughout the prolific past of classic English literature, there were writers that
were prone to create a perfect, high-class setting in which the characters were of upper
standards. Then there were the writers who wanted to create fear and absolute terror for
the reader. But the fear and terror that was established in this novel, and during this time
period, seem to contrast today's idea of fear and terror. If Dracula was published in 1996,
I do not think it would be as frightful because the legend of Dracula has been remade in a
myriad of ways and it just isn't scary anymore. There are many devices and techniques
that were incorporated into this original masterpiece of horror, but the three I feel Stoker
uses most effectively are: imagery, foreshadowing, and setting.
Imagery is probably the most important device Stoker utilizes in this novel. He
pays a great deal of attention to every detail, minute as it may seem. One example of
imagery can be located on page 36. On this page Stoker describes the castle as, "... it was
built on the corner of a great rock, so that on three sides it was quite impregnable, and
great windows were placed here where sling, or bow, or culverin could not reach, and
consequently light and comfort, impossible to a position which had to be guarded, were
secured." This description could also be an example of foreshadowing, as I will explain
later. Another example of imagery can be found on page 54. This is when Jonathan was
trying to escape and he ran across